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Friday, August 28, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-28-2015

Pittsburgh Press, August 28, 1915:

John J. McGraw, manager of the Giants, has just signed the youngest ball player ever placed under any form of contract by a big league club…
...
Waite Hoyt of Brooklyn is the youngster. He is 15 years old, but large for his age, and weighs around 165 pounds. He is a pitcher.

Nice pickup. Very well done, Mr. McGraw. The kid could definitely pitch, he just mostly did it elsewhere for the next couple decades.

McGraw traded Hoyt to Rochester in 1919 and the youngster eventually became a star as a Yankee. A reasonable trade, though: Teenage Hoyt, a handful of mediocre players, and cash for Earl Smith, a catcher who hit .296/.371/.439 (111 OPS+) and won two World Series rings as a Giant.

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: August 28, 2015 at 08:18 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, john mcgraw, waite hoyt

Old News in Baseball, No. 18 « Our Game

The picture of Huggins and Ruppert is worth a click.

1925: After a night on the town‚ Babe Ruth shows up late for batting practice. Miller Huggins suspends Ruth and slaps a $5‚000 fine on him. In the ensuing battle of wills, owner Jacob Ruppert backs up his manager. Ruth is forced to apologize to the team before he is reinstated.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 28, 2015 at 07:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-27-2015

Pittsburgh Press, August 27, 1915:

TOOK HIM FOUR YEARS TO LEARN HOW TO BUNT

Tod Sloan, outfielder with Birmingham in the Southern league, will be with the St. Louis Browns again next season for his fourth trial in the major leagues.
...
He was sent back from the majors three times, mainly because he couldn’t bunt. He has learned the bunting art this season.

That’s just goofy. Sloan appears to have been an okay enough ballplayer, mostly generic, nothing special but not terrible. In 143 MLB games, he put up 0.1 WAR and an OPS+ of 86.

At least he wasn’t a guy like Showboat Fisher or Buzz Arlett, who were wonderful hitters, possibly even all-time great hitters, but were robbed of MLB careers by an inability to field.

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: August 27, 2015 at 10:11 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: bunting, dugout, history, tod sloan

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Irreverent Relics of the Baseball Reliquary

Believe it or not!

It’s been called “the fans’ Hall of Fame,” “the antithesis of Cooperstown,” and “the motherlode vein leading to the heart and soul of baseball.” It calls itself “a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history,” but that doesn’t really capture the Reliquary’s unique nature. “It’s hard to categorize,” admits Terry Cannon, 62, a part-time librarian in Pasadena, California, who founded the Reliquary in 1996. “It’s an amazing living organism in all of the directions it has moved into, but it retains the vision I started with.”

Cannon’s vision, to create an organization that embraced his dual passions for art and baseball, has evolved over the past two decades into a nomadic Hall of Fame that celebrates all that is wacky and wonderful about the national pastime. It stages four to six annual exhibits, mostly in Southern California libraries, from its collection of artifacts, ranging from Eddie Gaedel’s jock strap to a portrait of Dave Winfield constructed with chewed bubble gum. The Reliquary counts 51 honorees in its Shrine of the Eternals, including expected mavericks like Bill Lee, Marvin Miller, Pete Rose, Jim Bouton and the San Diego Chicken as well as lesser-knowns such as Steve Dalkowski (the hardest throwing pitcher never to play in the major leagues) and Lester Rodney (the journalist who advocated for integration of organized baseball but was ostracized as a communist).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 26, 2015 at 04:04 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball reliquary, history, museums

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-26-2015

Milwaukee Journal, August 26, 1915:

Lawrence Henderson, pitching for Charleston in the Ohio State league [in Charleston, WV] yesterday, shut out Ironton in a doubleheader, not a hit being allowed in the first game…Henderson allowed five hits in the last game.

Pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: August 26, 2015 at 09:29 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-25-2015

Topeka State Journal, August 25, 1915:

Otis Crandall, former Giant now with the St. Louis Feds, has invented a new delivery known as the “snake ball.” According to the reports of opposing batsmen, the sphere floats up the the plate in a series of eccentric circles that give hickory swingers the staggers trying to follow its course.

Sounds (from contemporary reports as well as more recent sources) like it was just a big, loopy curveball. Writers of this era seemed intent on discovering “new” pitches, most of which were just variations of existing pitches given new names.

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: August 25, 2015 at 08:47 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: doc crandall, dugout, history, pitches

Monday, August 24, 2015

Over the Plate: Arlie Latham’s Own Baseball Stories, No. 2 « Our Game

This is the second of a series of unusual entertaining stories told by Arlie Latham, reminiscent of the old days of baseball, and of some of the things, ludicrous and whimsical, that go to make up a player’s life. Arlie—who was christened Walter Arlington—will be remembered with the Giants of late years as coach and scout.

He played his first professional ball in 1882 with the Philadelphia team of the Alliance League. [The latter is today termed the League Alliance, and it was not Arlie’s first appearance in pro ball: he began with Springfield of the National Association in 1879, moved up to Buffalo of the National League in 1880, and back down to Philly in the Eastern Championship Association in 1881.] Later he joined the St. Louis “Browns,” with whom he remained nine years [in fact seven, from 1883-89, then another few games with St. Louis of the NL in 1896, Washington in 1899, and the Giants in 1909]. Subsequently he played in Chicago, Cincinnati, and then back to St. Louis. He was one of the best third baseman and baserunners the game ever turned out, and was known the country over as baseball’s foremost comedian.

It is estimated that while he was under Chris von der Ahe, in St. Louis, he was fined an aggregate of $1,000,000 for his pranks. But Chris never collected the money. Recently Latham opened a delicatessen store in New York City, and failing to see any great future in it, he went umpiring in the Colonial League.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 24, 2015 at 11:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-24-2015

New York Tribune, August 24, 1915:

Jack Hendricks, manager of the Indianapolis team, and Doyle, an umpire, engaged in a one-sided battle [yesterday] during the first game between the Indianapolis and Kansas City Association teams.

Hendricks shouted from the bench and angered Doyle, who motioned the manager to the clubhouse. As Hendricks passed Doyle he spoke a few words in low tone. The umpire at once staggered the manager with a right swing to the jaw and a left to the face.
...
Hendricks, who had made no effort to resist, insisted that Doyle be arrested. The police proposed a compromise and ordered Doyle to allow Hendricks to remain on the field. The umpire agreed.

All of this, the entire thing, boggles my mind.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-21-2015

Seattle Star, August 21, 1915:

Visions of another pennant floating over the South Side ball yard came to White Sox rooters today when President Comiskey confirmed dispatches from Cleveland that his club had purchased Joe Jackson, slugging outfielder, from Cleveland.

Indians owner Charles Somers, one day earlier, quoted in the Washington Times after signing Jackson to a contract extension:

“I guess this will stop all this foolish talk of my selling Joe,” said Somers today. “I never had the slightest idea of parting with him, but the same story kept bobbing up so frequently that the fans began to think there was some truth in it. Now they know better.”

Somers quoted in the August 21, 1915 Washington Times:

“I just had to sell Jackson…This has been a bad financial year for the club…The attendance at home has been wretched, and I must do something to relieve the pressure.

The Charles Somers school management: Lie to your fans, sell your best player, and hope that increases attendance.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-20-2015

Washington Times, August 20, 1915:

Whatever chances any club might have possibly had of buying Joe Jackson from the Indians were knocked into a cocked hat today, when it leaked out that Charlie Somers had signed his slugging outfielder for three more seasons. Jackson is now the property of the Indians until October, 1918, and his salary is the largest paid any member of the team.
...
“I guess this will stop all this foolish talk of my selling Joe,” said Somers today. “I never had the slightest idea of parting with him, but the same story kept bobbing up so frequently that the fans began to think there was some truth in it. Now they know better.”

Jackson was sold to the White Sox the next day.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-19-2015

Milwaukee Sentinel, August 19, 1915:

The biggest crowd that ever saw a baseball game filled Braves’ field, the greatest ball park in the country to overflowing at its opening [yesterday]. Boston defeated St. Louis, 3 to 1.

According to official estimates, the crowd numbered between 46,000 and 47,000 persons.
...
The raising of last year’s championship pennant was participated in by President Tener of the National league and many of the club-owners, by members of both teams and by Mayor Curley.

I can’t imagine the Cardinals were excited by the idea of raising the Braves’ pennant.

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: August 19, 2015 at 09:08 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dugout, history

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-18-2015

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, August 18, 1915:

John B. Foster, secretary of the New York Nationals, announced…his club would protest the first game won by Pittsburgh [yesterday] on the grounds that Rube Benton, who pitched for Pittsburgh, is legally the property of the Giants. The New York club claimed Benton last Saturday after Cincinnati had sold him to Pittsburgh. Manager McGraw of the Giants said he had an option on Benton which had not expired when the player was sold.

...and McGraw was correct. The National League awarded Benton to the Giants and ordered the Pirates-Cubs game in which Benton pitched to be replayed.

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: August 18, 2015 at 09:09 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, rube benton

The Apprenticeship of Connie Mack – The Hardball Times

I have to wonder how the six-year-olds today look at Mack’s statue when they attend Phillies games. Here stands a man born during the Civil War, whose playing career spanned the Gilded Age and the Gay ’90s, and whose managerial career started in 1894 and carried through the first half of the 20th century. Still, it’s been more than six decades since the A’s left for Kansas City, so small fry today would likely be unimpressed by the statute of the gaunt old man waving his scorecard. I think kids would probably look at him as a remote historical figure like, say, General Pershing or William Howard Taft.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 18, 2015 at 07:48 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: connie mack, history

Monday, August 17, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-17-2015

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, August 17, 1915:

Bubble fountains, with pure, clear, sparkling water, are to replace the time-honored soda pop at the Cardinals’ park. This announcement [yesterday] by President Schuyler Britton follows close on the heels of yesterday’s game when some 200 bleacherites shied a multitude of pop bottles at Lord Byron, the singing umpire.
...
“Put a ban on soda pop sales,” [Britton] explains, “and no bottles will be thrown for the simple reason that there will be no bottles to throw. But, thirsty fans must have something to drink. I have it—bubble fountains. A fan can’t throw a bubble fountain.”

That sounds like a challenge. If fans can throw benches onto the field, they can throw water fountains.

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: August 17, 2015 at 08:10 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, August 14, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-14-2015

Washington Times, August 14, 1915:

The Svelte and the Plump members of the Electric Vehicle Association are scheduled to mingle this afternoon in the play-off contest for baseball supremacy.

Capt. James Orme, of the corpulent aggregation, has promised Government officials not to slide into the bases on the Monument grounds and to refrain from knocking foul balls into the observation room of the monument.

I can’t believe this was a thing. And I absolutely love the phrase “corpulent aggregation”.

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: August 14, 2015 at 08:16 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: corpulent aggregations, dugout, history

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-13-2015

Seattle Star, August 13, 1915:

Charles Bultman, a realty broker, today announced to the United Press that he is negotiating the sale ofthe Cincinnati Reds. He said Warren Carter of Pasadena, Cal., has a 10-day option on the club.

It was reported that “inside baseball” circles today that Carter is acting for the Federal league, and that the Reds will be included in the Federal circuit for 1916.

Wowsers. That would have been crazy. Obviously this didn’t happen, with the Federal League months away from its fatal implosion.

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: August 13, 2015 at 10:20 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history, reds

Beyond Charboneau: The Curious Cases of Baseball Burnouts – The Hardball Times

Includes a Jason Bere reference.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 13, 2015 at 09:45 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-12-2015

Tucumcari [New Mexico] News, August 12, 1915:

The oldest baseball in existence is owned by the president of the East End Church Baseball league in Pittsburgh. The ball is nearly fifty-three years old. It was used first in a championship game between the Eclipse team of Kingston, N.Y., and the Hudson team of Newburg, N.Y. The game was played on June 20, 1862, and ended 49 to 18, in favor of the Kingston team.

Wartime pitchers, amirite?

For whatever it’s worth, the East End Church ball is not the oldest baseball in existence. The oldest ball I know of is the Shiloh battlefield baseball. The Battle of Shiloh took place more than two months before the Eclipse-Hudson game.

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: August 12, 2015 at 08:24 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The heartbreaking farewell | Jeff Pearlman

Does anyone know how much of the library has been digitized? As King Kaufman notes in the comments, can’t the library be donated to a library?

Earlier today I spent about four hours researching my latest book project inside the Sports Illustrated library on the 32nd floor of the Time Life Building. It’s a place I consider to be my editorial home. Over the course of the past decade, through seven book projects, I’ve probably spent, oh, 200 hours inside the library, digging through files, photocopying clips, combing through yellowed Sports Illustrateds from decades past. I wish I were a good enough writer to properly explain the awesomeness of the SI library, but I’m not. What I can say is it’s a sports researcher’s dream; a place where one can find detailed clip files on everyone from J.R. Richard to Neil Clabo to Earl Jones to Rebecca Lobo to Dave Fleming (the Mariner) and Dave Fleming (the writer). There is nowhere like it in the world. Nowhere even close to being like it in the world.

Alas, in a few weeks it will die.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 11, 2015 at 10:16 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-11-2015

Pittsburgh Press, August 11, 1915:

It will be a case of “Look who’s here!” at Forbes Field this afternoon…[Pirates owner] Barney Dreyfuss having definitely set apart Sept. 16 as “Suffrage Day,” six suffragists are going to call at the club house this afternoon to “talk it over”.
...
“Col. Dreyfuss says we may own Forbes Field for a day—that all we need do is to meet the fellows who play ball in his yard and arrange the details. If the players will agree to all Col. Dreyfuss has, it will be a great day. I am sure they will, too. Manager Clarke has said fine things about suffrage in the west, where his wife is a registered voter. Max Carey says he is for suffrage. And Honus says he is a suffragist…”

Women voting? What’s next, women having jobs? Being doctors and lawyers? Running for political office?

I’ve said it before: 1915 is like a completely different universe.

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: August 11, 2015 at 08:52 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, suffrage

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Krank–Baseball’s Rarest Book « Our Game

Click through to read it.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 10, 2015 at 09:48 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-10-2015

Milwaukee Journal, August 10, 1915:

Two base runners were retired by one throw to the plate in a game between the Wichita and Lincoln clubs of the Western league—probably the only time such a play ever was made. Lincoln had runners on second and third. A Lincoln batter sent a Texas leaguer to right field. The fielder got the ball on the first bound and sent it zipping to the plate.
...
The throw beat the first man by about two feet and all the catcher had to do was to reach out and tag him…[The second runner] didn’t have time to slow up when he saw the runner ahead of him tagged out. So he took a chance and slid for the plate. The catcher tagged him and he also was out—making two putouts on one assist.

Ah, the rarely-seen Double TOOTBLAN. I remembered the Carlton Fisk play at Yankee Stadium in ‘85 (30 years ago last week), but I had totally forgotten that Paul LoDuca pulled off the same feat in the 2006 playoffs.

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: August 10, 2015 at 08:04 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, tootblan

Friday, August 07, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-7-2015

Seattle Star, August 7, 1915:

Eppa Rixey is one of THE Rixeys of Virginia, and can write F.F.V. without making Harry Lee turn over in his grave.

The decision of Eppa to take up baseball was not reached without many family councils under the Rixey roof at Culpepper, Va. One of Eppa’s uncles is Surgeon General P.M. Rixey, U.S.N., retired as rear admiral, upon whose chest Alfonso XIII hung a medal for services rendered the crew of the Santa Maria, following an explosion. Another was the late John Franklin Rixey, congressman from the Old Dominion.
...
“I have taken up baseball because I believe I can pitch,” explains Rixey. “I intend to continue my school work until I take a degree, either in chemistry or medicine. Then I will either decide to continue playing ball, or take up one of the other professions.

Seems like a completely reasonable thing to do. Anyway, if you’re here, I’m sure you know how this story ends: Rixey wins 266 games, becomes arguably the greatest pitcher in Cincinnati Reds history, and gets a plaque in Cooperstown.

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: August 07, 2015 at 08:11 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, eppa rixey, history

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Recalling Babe Ruth’s Stint as a Pro Wrestling Referee | Bleacher Report

The Babe and wrestling.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 06, 2015 at 10:42 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, history

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-6-2015

Grand Forks Daily Herald, August 6, 1915:

The reopening of a raid by the Federals on clubs in organized baseball gives room for wonder if there will be any more cases like that of Armando Marsans, the Cuban outfielder, who jumped from the Cincinnati Reds to the St. Louis Federals last season.

Marsans has not played a lick of baseball since last June, when he made the leap. He was enjoined from playing with St. Louis and his case was continued in court. But Marsans’ salary goes on just the same.
...
Marsans is at home in Havana, Cuba, running his cigar factory. In the meantime the Reds are in last place and the St. Louis Feds are losing games through lack of the hitting punch Marsans would give them.
...
The Marsans case is easily the joke of baseball, and the joke is on the fellows who will have to pay his salary.

I’m jealous. It’s always been my dream to be paid handsomely without any obligation to work.

Anyway, on August 19, 1915, a federal judge ruled that Marsans could play in the Federal League until the appeal was heard. Obviously, with the collapse of the Federal League after the 1915 season, the lawsuit became moot.


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